The last few weeks have been really, really amazing. I've been teaching and mentoring young playwrights in the SPARC: New Voices for the Theater program in Richmond, Virginia.
Being playwright-in-residence at New Voices meant spending a week teaching the fundamentals of playwriting, and then moving to a more dramaturgical role in week two, as the eight winning playwrights were paired with directors and actors, and began rehearsals of their winning plays. It all culminated with beautifully staged readings of the plays with friends, family and members of the community in attendance.
|The eight winning playwrights of SPARC: New Voices for the Theater 2012!|
The Richmond theater community gave their hearts and their talent to this program, with some of the best directors and actors in town working tirelessly with these young writers -- letting them be the playwright in the rehearsal room for the very first time. (What joy, seeing them see their plays come to life in hands of talented actors!) The plays ranged from romantic comedies to tragedies, and from the deeply psychological to the absurd to the delightfully funny.
I truly hope that I have more opportunities to teach in the year ahead. Teaching playwriting -- being able to share what I love so much with others -- was a great gift. But it will be hard to beat the experience I had with New Voices. It's an extraordinary program -- well organized and inspirationally led by Laine Satterfield. And we had an extraordinary bunch of kids.
|Writing my closing speech -- and saying goodbye to the kids -- made me cry. What a lovely couple of weeks, New Voices! Thank you so much!|